Winners And Losers

first_imgSoon after Mebrahtom Keflezighi became the first American in 27 years to win the New York City Marathon on Nov. 7, an online debate erupted over whether the 34-year-old Eritrea-born U.S. citizen was legitimately an “American winner.”Although Keflezighi migrated to the United States in 1987 when he was only 12 and became a naturalized citizen in 1998, a New York Times headline noted, “To Some, Winner Is Not American Enough.” The online controversy ricocheted into the mainstream media. CNBC.com sports business reporter Darren Rovell commented that Keflezighi is only “technically American,” adding, “Nothing against Keflezighi, but he’s like a ringer who you hire to work a couple hours at your office so that you can win the executive softball league.”Rovell later apologized, admitting: “It turns out, Keflezighi moved to the United States in time to develop at every level in America. So Meb is in fact an American trained athlete and an American citizen and he should be celebrated as the American winner of the NYC Marathon.”  The online debate parsed considerations such as U.S. birth, age at which one migrates or becomes a U.S. citizen, the length of time one has lived in the country, etc. Do you become a “real American”, as opposed to a “technical” one, when you are naturalized? Is a U.S. permanent resident of 30 years “less American” than a naturalized citizen who has lived in the United States for just five years? How about a long resident nonimmigrant or, for that matter, an illegal alien? Also, when an immigrant becomes an American citizen, does she lose her original nationality? Does that depend on whether you are, say, an Argentinean citizen (which permits dual nationality) or an Indian citizen (which does not)?It is ironic that America, the immigrant Mecca, has such difficulty embracing its naturalized citizens, when its law commands their allegiance and fidelity. By contrast, India, which has among the world’s most restrictive citizenship practices, can’t seem to break its bonds with overachieving nationals, who by law are obligated to renounce their Indian citizenship when they swear a foreign allegiance. Indeed, it claims into its bear hug even those without a credible association. Witness the joyous celebrations in India over NASA astronaut Sunita Williams and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, both of whom are U.S. born with no particular affinity for India. This October, after he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, British molecular biologist Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, who emigrated in 1972 from Tamil Nadu, complained of Indians “clogging up” his mailbox with congratulatory messages. India clings tenaciously to its globally reputed naturalized citizens even in death. Recently, the Indian government rejected as “absurd” a claim from Albania to return Albanian born Nobel laureate Mother Teresa’s remains from Calcutta, who, an Indian spokesman insisted “is resting in her own country, her own land.”Curious how India and America seem to have their citizenship wires crossed.  Related Itemslast_img read more


Facing Public Outrage And Congressional Heat Eli Lilly Announces It Will Sell

first_imgFacing Public Outrage And Congressional Heat, Eli Lilly Announces It Will Sell Half-Price Version Of Its Pricey Insulin Drug “There are clearly patients who, despite many best efforts, are struggling to afford their insulin,” David Ricks, the chief executive of Eli Lilly, said in an interview. “This is a step we can take to close part of that remaining gap.” The move comes as senators and the public turn their attention to why the critical drug’s price has skyrocketed in recent years. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The drugmaker Eli Lilly will begin selling a cheaper version of its most popular insulin, Humalog, in an effort to head off criticism about the rising costs of prescription drugs, the company said Monday. Lilly will begin selling an “authorized generic” of Humalog 100 for $137.35 per vial, a 50 percent discount off the list price. An authorized generic means that, except for the label, it is identical to the brand-name drug and manufactured in the same facilities. The new product, which the company said would be made available as quickly as possible, will be called Insulin Lispro and will be sold through a Lilly subsidiary, ImClone Systems. (Thomas, 3/4) “While this change is a step in the right direction, all of us in the health care community must do more to fix the problem of high out-of-pocket costs for Americans living with chronic conditions,” Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks said in a statement. “We hope our announcement is a catalyst for positive change across the U.S. health care system.” The move received some measured praise from lawmakers in both parties on Monday, but they also stressed that much more needs to be done. (Sullivan, 3/4) The move reflects growing anger at the pharmaceutical industry, although insulin has been a particular focal point among patients and, subsequently, lawmakers. The average list price for insulin nearly tripled between 2002 and 2013, according to the American Diabetes Association. More than 30 million Americans have some form of diabetes. Fifteen years ago, for instance, a patient with diabetes might have paid $175.57 for a 20-milliliter vial of the long-acting insulin Humulin R U-500, another Lilly treatment. Today, that medicine would cost $1,487. However, a recent study estimated the cost to produce a vial of human insulin is between $2.28 and $3.42, while the cost to produce a vial of most analog insulins is between $3.69 and $6.16. (Silverman, 3/4) Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly announced Monday that it will sell a generic version of Humalog, its branded insulin product. The generic will cost $137 per vial, or half as much as Humalog. (Segarra, 3/4) CQ: Lawmakers Commend Generic Insulin Price Drop “We don’t want anyone to ration or skip doses of insulin due to affordability. And no one should pay the full Humalog retail price,” Ricks said, describing the generic drug as “a bridge that addresses gaps in the current system until we have a more sustainable model.” In February, seven executives of top pharmaceutical companies were grilled before a congressional panel about the nation’s skyrocketing drug prices. A week prior, Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden began an investigation into insulin prices, sending letters to leading manufacturers Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi about their recent price increases. (Nedelman, 3/4) center_img CNN: Eli Lilly Introduces Generic Insulin At Half The Price Of Brand-Name Drug Stat: Lilly Will Sell A Half-Price Version Of Its Insulin. Will It Appease Critics?  The Hill: Drug Company Announces New Version Of Insulin At Half The Price A number of influential lawmakers from both parties on Monday supported an announcement by drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co. to sell a generic version of a costly form of insulin but said more should be done to combat the high price of prescription drugs. Eli Lilly is one of the three main U.S. drug manufacturers that sell insulin, which 7.4 million Americans with diabetes rely on to survive. The cheaper version of Eli Lilly’s drug Humalog will be 50 percent cheaper than the brand-name drug and will be sold in vial and pen options. The vial will sell for $137.35. (Raman, 3/4) Marketplace: Here’s Why Eli Lilly Will Sell A Generic Insulin The New York Times: Eli Lilly Will Sell Half-Price Version Of Humalog, Its Popular Insulin last_img read more